I cast my vote late last week, in order to avoid the long lines that were expected (and are indeed materializing) at the polls today. Vote early, vote often, is my motto :-)
I'm not one of the many undecideds, but rather had made up my mind several weeks ago. Thusly robed in the extreme pleasure and honor of being able to cast a private vote in this democratic process, I strolled over to our local voting precinct - and waited about an hour to weave my way through the lines. When I finally got to the voting booth, I was surprised and delighted to note that our county had installed electronic voting machines. I wasn't able to read the label of the manufacturer, and I expected I'd draw some unwanted attention if I had reached around behind or under the machine to look. The use case for voting was really quite straightforward: the polling officer identified my precinct, picked up a block that matched my precinct and inserted it in the machine, bringing up the appropriate ballot for me. Voting was easy to do on the touch screen display, and changing votes/going back was even possible (I know, I intentionally explored the edges of the use case). I wish a paper copy had been created; it seems like such a simple thing to do and, in this era of hanging chads and such, seems to be a prudent safeguard. I was also surprised to see that the machines had no UPS device; they were plugged straight into the wall - one wonders what checkpointing is done in the event power fails. While I'm on this riff of surprises, I'm also surprised that there were no obvious parity checks: having a manual count of voters per machine and then matching them to votes actually placed would be another simple and obvious check and balance.
As the day unfolds, I'll be glued to my favorite Internet radio and then hosting an election party where we'll watch the returns.
gbooch 120000P81R 4 Comments 790 Visits